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Avrupa Birliği

EU 2020 Progress Report: Human Rights in Turkey Continue to Regress

According to the report of the European Commission evaluating preparation processes of candidate countries each year, in Turkey, human rights, democracy, and rule of law continue to regress.

Civil Society Tries to Remain Active Under Pressure

It is emphasized in the report that civil society is under pressure and their work field is shrinking, stated that despite all the challenges, civil society remains active and tries to involve in public life as much as possible.

Support of civil society in the struggle with these problematic headlines is underlined while their significant contribution to education, women participation in labor, social tolerance, support for refugees, and monitoring hate crimes is noted.

It is reminded in the report that, civil society which is strengthened and working in different fields, is an indispensable component to the democratic system, stating that public institutions should welcome the views of civil society and should develop systematic and inclusive mechanisms in this regard.

In the report indicating civil society organizations are under pressure and not able to act freely, noted that civil society organizations are kept away from decision-making and legislative processes, and meet with bureaucratic obstacles.

It is also said that the Gezi Trial and ongoing pre-trial detention of Osman Kavala have a deterrent effect on works of civil society which remains under constant pressure in the face of arrests of many people.

In the report, it is reminded that no work has been done to find a solution for human rights organizations closed under a state of emergency.

Human Rights Continue to Decline

In the report indicating that due to implementations left from the state of emergency, retrogress continues and “left a profound and devastating effect” while remarking “With the legislation established immediately after the abolishment of the state of emergency, substantial assurances for protecting detainees from ill-treatment were annulled.”

It is said in the report that the legislation allowed 90 thousands of prisoners for conditional release is questionable while criticizing that the lawyers, journalists, politicians, and human rights defenders excluded from the scope of the release.

In the report stating that the regression continues in terms of freedom of expression and media with the constant worsening situation of the right to assembly and demonstration while noting that disproportionate treatments and investigations are made within the scope of terror-related activities.

In the report which also touches on minority rights, it is indicated that many groups of people had been displaced especially Romanis due to urban transformation, gender-based violence, hate speech towards minorities, hate crimes, and human rights violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to cause serious concerns.

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